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Rafael finalises I-Derby ER GBAD variant development

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems announced on 26 February that it had finalised development and qualification of the ground-based air defence (GBAD) version of the I-Derby ER (extended range) beyond-visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).

The company disclosed that in the week prior to the announcement, it had concluded an 18-month test campaign with a ground launch of the I-Derby ER surface-to-air interceptor in southern Israel to “test the missile’s command and control, navigation, and flight trajectory capabilities”. A Rafael spokesperson told Janes that the I-Derby ER GBAD development campaign included a series of preliminary preparation tests and a number of live launches, including launches from the SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) short-to-long-range mobile, quick-reaction air defence system.

“These tests serve as a significant milestone in the I-Derby ER’s development,” Rafael said in a press statement. “[I-Derby ER] is the newest and most advanced of Rafael’s electromagnetic air-to-air missiles, and [the tests] mark the completion of the missile’s ground version development,” the statement added.

SPYDER system dual-use surface-to-air effectors include the Python-5 dual waveband imaging infrared short-range air-to-air missile (AAM), the I-Derby active radar-guided short-to-beyond visual range AAM, and, following the latest announcement, the longer-range I-Derby ER BVRAAM.

SPYDER encompasses a family of short-range (SR)/extended-range (ER)/medium-range (MR), and long-range (LR) systems designed to deliver 360° defence of large areas and manoeuvring forces against a wide spectrum of air threats, including fastjet and rotary-wing attack platforms, bombers, cruise missiles, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and stand-off weapon systems. The I-Derby ER interceptor is intended for use with the SPYDER-SR/MR air defence system, turning those systems into SPYDER ER/LR respectively, and was designed at the outset to fit the existing SPYDER-SR canister without a booster, or SPYDER-MR with a booster.

Right side profile of the I-Derby ER interceptor. (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

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